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Concentrations of heavy metals in urban soils of Talcahuano (Chile): a preliminary study

Author(s): Tume P, Bech J, Sepulveda B, Tume L, Bech J



Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in the top-(0-10 cm) and sub-surface (10-20 cm) soils of the Talcahuano urban area were measured. The main soil properties (organic matter, CaCO3, pH, particle sizes) were determined for a network of representative sampling sites. The mean Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn contents in the urban topsoil samples from Talcahuano (37.8, 22.6, 35.2, 333 mg kg(-1), respectively) were compared with mean concentrations for other cities around the world. The results revealed higher concentrations of heavy metals in topsoil samples than in sub-surface samples. The samples from IS1, IS2, and IS3, located in the Talcahuano industrial park, had higher Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn contents than did samples from the other sites. This was probably due to local pollution by industrial (metallurgical) dust, although other diffuse pollution throughout the entire port region (shipyards, metallurgy, the dismantling of old ships), and contributions from the wind from adjacent industrial, storage, and vessel areas clearly played a role. Heavy metals were lowest in the sample taken on school grounds (SG).

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